India vs Sri Lanka Test Series 2017 – Let’s talk Numbers

(Image courtesy – AFP)

Despite their dreadful run in the limited overs format, Sri Lanka revived with an emphatic 2-0 whitewash of Pakistan at UAE. Next, they face a stern test against India, which comes after a 3-0 thumping against the visitors in August. Sri Lanka’s tour will commence with 3 Tests and it will be the first time India will host the Lions in the longest format since 2009.

Since 1982

A few months after Sri Lanka played their inaugural Test against England, the team traveled to Chennai to play against India for the first time. In the only Test played at the Chidambaram, the minnows nearly edged through to a close win against the strong Indian side. Batting first, the visitors made 346 which was spearheaded by Duleep Mendis’ 105. India’s reply saw them amassing 566/6 with skipper Sunil Gavaskar and Sandeep Patil scoring centuries before declaration. In the second innings, Duleep Mendis again scored 105, taking Sri Lanka to 394. It remains the highest identical score made in both innings of a Test match. The pursuit of a modest 175 looked difficult as the spirited Lankan bowlers strived to turn the tables. However, India managed to escape humiliation by surviving with 135/7 at close. Speedster Ashantha de Mel took 5 for 68.

The first win for Sri Lanka against India came in 1985 at the P. Sara Oval, incidentally the first ever victory for the newly inducted Test nation. The massive 149-run win over India at P.Sara was a lifelong dream of a zealous team that strived for success after immense effort and hard work in 13 previous endeavors since gaining Test status.

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Rumesh Ratnayake’s return catch that sealed a historical win (Image courtesy – YouTube)

The first win for India against Sri Lanka came at Nagpur in 1986 where they recorded a substantial win of an innings and 106 runs.

To highlight a few Tests noteworthy, the contest between Sri Lanka and India at Asgiriya in 1993, not only stands third on the list of shortest Test matches, but has also gained distinction of becoming the shortest non-abandoned Test match of all time. Although only 12 overs were played in a subsequent washout, Kapil Dev equaled Sunil Gavaskar’s record for most number of Tests for India (125).

Mahela Jayawardene’s 242 against India at SSC in 1999 sealed his name as the youngest double centurion for Sri Lanka. He was 21 years and 273 days old.

Sri Lanka vs India Head to Head Test record –

  • Played – 41
  • Sri Lanka – 7
  • India – 19
  • Drawn – 15

Recap of the last few years

(Image courtesy – Associated Press)

India’s tour to Sri Lanka in 2010 and the first Test played at Galle was best remembered for being Muttiah Muralitharan’s swansong. As the spin wizard claimed 800 wickets, Sri Lanka won the Test by 10 wickets taking 1-0 lead in the series. The second Test at SSC ended in a draw while India squared the series by winning the final game at P. Sara by 5 wickets.

After 5 years, in 2015 India toured the island yet again. This time, the first Test at Galle was etched in hearts for a stunning comeback by the hosts. Having been bowled out for 183, the Sri Lanka were at the receiving end when tons by Shikar Dhawan (134) and Virat Kohli (103) carried India to 375. Nearly 200 runs behind, the home team was reeling on 95/5 when Dinesh Chandimal and Lahiru Thirimanne annexed a 125 run stand for the 6th wicket. After Thirimanne’s departure for 44, Chandimal put on another 82 run partnership with Jehan Mubarak, who made 49. When Sri Lankan innings was ceased at 367, Chandimal was unbeaten on 162 that saved the hosts from humiliation.

Chandimal’s extraordinary knock (Image courtesy – AFP)

No one imagined the next chapter of this thrilling encounter. Chasing a modest 176, the visitors were crushed by Rangana Herath’s 7 for 48, leaving them all out for a paltry 112, securing one of the most incredible comebacks in Test history.

However India revived to win the remaining two Tests at P. Sara Oval and SSC to record their first ever series win in Sri Lanka since 1993. The second Test marked the farewell of Kumar Sangakkara’s dazzling Test career.

India’s tour of Sri Lanka in July/August this year ended in a crushing whitewash for the hosts. The strong Indian outfit swept the home side with a massive 304 run win at Galle, followed by commanding innings victories at SSC and Pallekele.

(Image courtesy – Associated Press)

Lions in India

Since their first encounter at Chennai in 1982, India has hosted Sri Lanka in 17 Tests. However, Sri Lanka is yet to win a Test match in India.

Sri Lanka vs India Head to Head Test record in India –

  • Played – 17
  • India – 10
  • Sri Lanka – 0
  • Drawn – 7

Eden Gardens

The 1996 semi-final between Sri Lanka and India (Image courtesy – Getty Images)

‘Cricket’s answer to the Colosseum’, this cricketing cauldron is one of the oldest and most iconic venues in the world. Known for its boisterous capacity crowds, the Eden Gardens resonates a hostility and intimidation to any opposition. Once with a capacity of over 100,000 spectators, the Eden Gardens easily featured few of the most attended matches in history. The 1996 World Cup semi-final between Sri Lanka and India, saw a capacity crowd of over 120,000 while the India and Pakistan Test series in 1998/99 boasted over 100,000. However, the newly renovated Eden Gardens since 2011 holds a reduced capacity, certainly an apt response for better crowd control in a stadium known for its crowd violence in the past years.

Since 1934, India have played 40 Tests at Kolkata.

India’s Test record at the Eden Gardens –

  • Played – 40
  • Won – 12
  • Lost – 9
  • Drawn – 19

Sri Lanka is yet to play a Test match at the Eden Gardens.

VCA, Nagpur

(Image courtesy – Getty Images)

India recorded their first Test win against Sri Lanka at Nagpur in 1986. The two sides played at Nagpur again in 1997; the game ended in a draw.

However, the new VCA stadium has been hosting Tests since 2008. It is the largest stadium in India in terms of field area. Sri Lanka is yet to play at the venue.

Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi

(Image courtesy – Getty Images)

The main cricket stadium in Delhi, has been hosting Tests since 1948. Sri Lanka has played a solitary Test at the venue in 2005 where the hosts won by 188 runs.

Team Records

  • Highest team total – 952/6 dec.* (Sri Lanka at RPS, 1997) (*denotes a world record)
  • Highest team total for India – 726/9 dec. (at Mumbai, 2009)
  • Lowest team total – 82 all out (Sri Lanka at Chandigarh, 1990)
  • Lowest team total for India – 112 all out (at Galle, 2015)

Batting Records

  • Most runs – Sachin Tendulkar (1995 runs in 36 innings) (Avg. 60.45)
  • Most runs for Sri Lanka – Mahela Jayawardene (1822 runs in 28 innings) (Avg. 67.48)
  • Most runs in India – Rahul Dravid (846 runs in 11 innings) (Avg. 76.90)
  • Most runs for Sri Lanka (in Ind) – Mahela Jayawardene (628 runs in 10 innings) (Avg. 62.80)
  • Highest individual score – Sanath Jayasuriya (340 at RPS, 1997)
  • Highest individual score for India – Virender Sehwag (293 at Mumbai, 2009)
  • Highest individual score for Sri Lanka (in Ind) – Mahela Jayawardene (275 at Ahmedabad, 2009)

Bowling Records

  • Most wickets – Muttiah Muralitharan (105 wickets in 32 innings) (Avg. 32.61)
  • Most wickets for India – Anil Kumble (74 wickets in 28 innings) (Avg. 31.20)
  • Most wickets in India – Anil Kumble (44 wickets in 15 innings) (Avg. 22.04)
  • Most wickets for Sri Lanka (in Ind) – Muttiah Muralitharan (40 wickets in 14 innings) (Avg. 45.45)
  • Best bowling – Muttiah Muralitharan (8 for 87 at SSC, 2001)

Best bowling for India – Maninder Singh (7 for 51 at Nagpur, 1986)